Who will Jiří Procházka face in his first title defense?

Almost one week has passed and the light heavyweight division has a new champion once again, this time in the form of Czech fighter Jiří Procházka (29-3-1) who submitted Glover Teixeira in the final seconds of UFC 275. 

While Jiří received a hero’s welcome, with a massive audience celebrating their first-ever UFC champion, he already has a line of hungry contenders that are waiting in the wings for a crack at the title. For example, Jiri had been champ for a whole 5 minutes before being confronted by Jan Blachowicz who was saying he’s next. 

So that begs the question who is next for the champ and how will this affect the light heavyweight division that was once ruled with an iron fist by the likes of Jon Jones. Brendan Schaub recently said on a video that he believes the belt will be passed around with none of the champs being able to measure to Jon Jones. 

As usual, the champ has the pick of the litter and is in a weight class with many intriguing matchups. Outside of the top 5, only Paul Craig would have earned some sort of a shot but he still needs more high-level competition. But in the top 5, we have #4 Magomed Ankalaev and #5 Anthony Smith who are booked in what could be the next title eliminator.

That leaves the top 3 who are #1 Glover Teixeira, #2 Jan Blachowicz and #3 Aleksandar Rakic. As fans know Rakic is out indefinitely with a significant knee injury and lost his fight vs Jan. A rematch with Glover would be great considering how much of a back and forth we saw, but that just happened and the UFC isn’t overly keen on giving out rematches to just anyone including former champs who were submitted.  

That leaves another former champ as one of the more logical options in Jan Blachowicz, who was ringside for the main event. The ma known as Polish Power was successful in his first fight since losing the title, while some were less than impressed and believed he lucked out due to Rakic’s injury, one can’t deny that he has the most legitimacy out of the other challengers. 

Finally, the last thing the UFC could potentially do is give Jan and Glover the chance to settle their rivalry which Glover is currently 1-0 in. This would delay Jiri’s comeback but would clear the air for 2 former champs that believe they deserve next. 

 

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